CMHA Kelowna branch is urging the community to increase their social connection despite being physically apart. The mental health organization is launching their #CreatingConnection campaign to kick off Mental Health Week (May 4-10). The campaign also comes on the heels of new research that says most British Columbians want more meaningful connection in their daily life.
As the province heads into its second full month of ‘social distancing’ new data shows that two-thirds of BC residents (66%) report that they would like to experience more meaningful social interactions in their everyday. And just more than half (53%) say they are feeling more negative emotions than positive ones.
Shelagh Turner, CMHA Kelowna Executive Director says the effect of the past two months on people’s mental health is not a surprise. “For years we have known that feeling connected to our community and social inclusion are important factors for good mental health. So in a time when we are being asked to isolate and distance ourselves from others it’s understandable that it’s taking a toll.”
That’s why CMHA Kelowna is launching a digital campaign called #CreatingConnection. “As an organization, helping people feel connected to each other and the wider community is what we do, and have done, every day,” says Turner. “Just like everyone else, we’ve had to adapt what we do and the way we do it in order to meet the physical distancing requirements. Now, we’d like to see how others are adapting and being creative. If we share the ways we are all creating those social connections – we will be better for it as a community and collectively we’ll feel better about our mental health.”
The campaign is launching during this year’s annual Mental Health Week but Turner says it’s about more than just a week. “Feelings of loneliness and reduced social connection have been on the rise for years – this was already the case before the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why now, when we are being asked to physically distance ourselves, it is even more important that we find ways to have meaningful connection. It is critical for our mental health – it should be our way of life.”
How to take part
- Share your support on social media by using hashtags #CreatingConnection #MentalHealthWeek and #TogetherApart
- Learn more about CMHA Kelowna’s #CreatingConnection campaign
- If you or someone you love is struggling, please find out about CMHA Kelowna’s virtual and phone-based support services there to help you. Or, visit the Government of Canada’s Wellness Together portal. If you are in crisis, please call 1-833-456-4566 toll free in Canada
About the Data
CMHA partnered with Maru/Matchbox to conduct an online survey among a total of 1,507 Canadian adults on April 15, 2020. A probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, nineteen times out of twenty. The sample was weighted to reflect the Canadian adult population according to the most recent Census data. Additional data was taken from Maru’s ongoing, near-daily FEEL, BEHAVE, THINK COVID-19 tracking study. For more information, please go to www.marureports.com/coronavirus